SpyHunter is a game that always looked pretty interesting. When I saw it, I figured this would be something kind of like Pursuit Force. Well, it plays out a little differently from that one. See, this game never lets you leave the car and you’ve got to perform the objectives while driving to the end of the level. It’s a different take on the usual kind of car game. It’s a decent enough title and yet it trips itself up with the need to force you to grab every collectible. I thought that was a pretty bad idea personally.
The game starts with a villain organization talking about how they are going to take out the world. They have their weapons at the ready and the only one who can stop them is the mysterious agent you are playing as. Unfortunately that’s effectively where the story ends. The rest of the game has you tackling a bunch of missions that have some text for context but that’s pretty much it. If you were looking for a big story here then you have come to the wrong place. The gameplay will have to be enough.
So how does the game play out? Well, it’s a 3D driving title where you are given 5-7 missions to complete. One of those is the primary mission so you have to complete that in order to beat the level and then you have a ton of secondary missions to try and complete. They’ll range from things like “Avoid civilian casualties” to “Blow up 8 trucks”. As you’re driving in the level you will usually see the objectives flagged in little circles. The color of the circle will help to remind you if you’re to blow up the object or stop it with an EMP. If you really forget you can also pause the screen which will quickly show you all of the missions.
The term “secondary” may make you think that these are optional but most of them are not. The game has 14 levels and each one is protected by a points requirement. Each mission gives you a point per mission so you have to complete a lot of them. The game as a whole has around 65 possible points and you need 57 to unlock the last level. If you discount the 4 objectives in that level, that means you need 57 out of 61 possible points prior to the final level so you can’t allow for many mistakes. This means you will be replaying each level a whole bunch of times.
That part’s what is really unfortunate about SpyHunter. You should not have to go back and play old levels like this. I always feel that doing something like that should be absolutely optional. Otherwise it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me to call it secondary. Just bake it all into the level at that point and at least you now what you’re getting yourself into. I also didn’t like the fact that you have to re-clear the other missions. For example, let’s say you beat 5/7 of the level’s missions on the first try. You’d assume that you could just go in and complete the other 2 right? Unfortunately that’s not the case in this one. You have to actually go in and complete all of the other missions again in order for this to count. It makes the process a little extra tedious so I recommend just trying to complete all of the missions right away and restarting until you do. Otherwise you’ll have to go back anyway and at least this way you will be super familiar with the level.
It’s certainly possible that the developers only did this to buy time because otherwise the game would have been incredibly short. Each level is only 3-5 minutes long so you can easily complete the whole game in about an hour if you didn’t have to go back and replay them each time. As a result there is not a ton of replay value on the single player side since you’ll have had to 100% complete almost every level. There is a multiplayer mode though and since the gameplay itself is solid, I could see that being a lot of fun. Multiplayer is always a good way to keep the player around for a while.
The graphics aren’t bad. I liked what we got in the opening cutscene but at the same time there isn’t a lot else to base it off of. The levels have very distinct designs and I like the various effects for the blasters and explosions so all in all I would give that area a thumbs up. The soundtrack is much more forgettable though. You’ll quickly forget any tune that you heard during the game without a doubt. I can’t say I expected any really good tunes but it definitely would have been a pretty nice bonus. Maybe next time I suppose.
As you play through the game you will unlock more weapons for your car. It’s important to note though that these weapons only work for levels after which you’ve unlocked them which I found a bit odd. For example, when you get the triple missiles, you can’t use them for the first level and you are automatically downgraded there. Usually part of the fun with upgrades is going back and winning with extreme ease now. This seems like one of those times where the game just had a big miss again.
The best weapon in the game is definitely the missile though. Whether you’ve got 1 or 3, it is the best way to have the upper hand against the villains. Relying on your gatling gun is not as good because it takes so many hits to defeat the opposing cars. The only time it is worth it is if there are a lot of civilians around and you want to make sure you don’t hit the. The missiles deal a lot of damage and have large explosions so it is tough not to hit someone when using that kind of weaponry.
Overall, SpyHunter is a good game but is heavily held back by all of the sub missions here. Just let me focus on driving and going through the levels. If the game did that then it absolutely would have been so much better. The concept of a driving game where you are blasting with your weapons and everything is quite sound. I guess the developers didn’t have enough confidence in its overall premise though. If you don’t mind the collectathon type elements here then you should pick this game up. It’s fairly cheap and the gameplay itself is polished very well.